Living your dream is something no one should take for granted. My dream has always been to work as a chef at the palace. I trained to be a chef while I was still finishing high school. I landed an interview and somehow got the job of my dreams. Today is the first day of living that dream.
Walking into the palace always takes my breath away. The building holds so much history for wolves, and yet it is more elegant than anything I have ever seen. I make my way to the kitchen in awe at how even the worker’s entrance is elegant. During my interview, I was told the King makes his staff feel like they’re more than just servants.
They have hired me to handle the afternoon snacks and dinners. My interview was also a tasting. I had to prepare a healthy snack that was filling, along with a seven-course dinner. The King enjoyed my food so much; They instantly hired me. I never thought that I would be in charge of something as important as dinner. I thought I would be a sous chef, in all honesty. There is a lot that I still have to learn, but I’m going to give it my all.
Reggie, the head chef and manager of the palace kitchen, is going to meet me in the kitchen office. I knock on the door and hear a gruff come in. I open the door and see an older man sitting behind a desk, looking through some papers. Reggie gives off an air of superiority that makes my stomach do flip-flops. He has yet to look up, and I’m getting more nervous standing here.
“Well, don’t just stand in the doorway like an idiot. Come in.” Reggie says in a hostile voice.
Moving quickly, I close the door and walk over to the front of the desk. I have heard nothing but great things about this man, but here I am, staring at someone who can make or break my career. I pull myself together and remember that no one may make me feel less than amazing and that I made it here on my own.
“Hello. The new chef is me, Madalyn. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, but please don’t talk to me like I’m a child.” I say, holding out my hand for him to shake.
Reggie drops the papers he was reading and looks up into my eyes. Although he has a look that could kill on his face, there is a twinkle of amusement in his eyes. Reggie sits back in his seat and puts his feet up on his desk, never taking my hand to shake. A smirk spreads across his face like he knows something that I don’t.
“And how do you think I should speak to you?” Reggie says in a growl.
I can tell that his wolf wants to take over, and that could be catastrophic for me. Being only eighteen, my wolf doesn’t have nearly as much training as his. Not only that, but my wolf is rather weak. I have no special power I know of, and my wolf rarely wants to come out. My parents often told me that when I met my mate, my wolf would start coming out.
I have thought a little about a mate. My focus has solely been on learning how to be the best chef I could be. There have been guys who have asked me out, but none of them ever caught my interest. I wouldn’t say that I was saving myself for my mate, I just haven’t cared about it.
“I think you should show me the same respect that I have shown you. We are all here to help the kingdom. That means that we need to respect the fact that we are all giving up something to be here and serve. Plus, it’s just common decency.” I tell him with all the confidence I can manage.
Reggie sits and stares at me for several tense moments. I hear a slight growl and feel my heart about to pound out of my chest. At this moment, I feel like I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life. I feel my muscles prepare to take off running. I turn to make a run for it when I hear Reggie laughing.
It’s the laugh that lets you know its owner is the only one in on the joke. I turn back around to see Reggie holding his sides while laughing and wiping tears from his eyes. I open my mouth to say something and close it when I realize I have nothing to come back with.
“I’m sorry, Madalyn, I had to,” Reggie says as he tries to calm his laughing down.
“I’ll be honest and say I thought I was dead,” I say, laughing a little myself.
“I knew you would be nervous your first day, so I thought I could lighten you up a little,” Reggie says as he chuckles.
“Good thing I didn’t completely freak out,” I tell him.
“Today is going to be a getting to know the kitchen day. You know how to cook. You just need to get to know all the ins and outs of this kitchen. We feed many people, so I want you to feel you can jump right in. The King has requested that you make all his meals and snacks when you are here. I don’t know what you did, but the man loves it.” Reggie says, smiling.
“I honestly did what I normally do when I make something. The food I cook is a gift that I give to someone who is eating it. I want it to be special and for them to enjoy it so much that they ask for more.” With a laugh, I say.
We spent the next hour with Reggie, showing me everything I need to know about the kitchen. We go over where all the special equipment is and even how I can order anything I may want. Reggie takes his time and makes sure that I understand everything as we go. I have a notebook in hand as I write the key points I want to have in note form.
This is the first job that I have ever had, so I’m paying close attention to things, no matter how small they may seem. I get swept up in the training. I don’t even notice when it is time to take a break. Reggie prepares a meal for us, and we take a break outside in the garden.
I take a deep breath and breathe in the smells of fresh flowers and all the different trees in the garden. I notice that there are fruit trees and nuts, and I assume they are for the kitchen’s use.
“So tell me a little about yourself, Madalyn,” Reggie says as he takes a bite of his food.
“I grew up here in the royal pack but, unfortunately, don’t have any power. My family does not have the genes for anything special. We are just your average weak wolves.” I say and sigh. “As I was a young girl, I saw the kitchen staff of the palace always out in the market. They were looking for the very best foods. I thought they looked amazing in their white uniforms.”
Reggie chuckles as he listens to me. I feel myself going back in time to the days of me stalking the kitchen staff.
“I wanted to know every insignificant item that they bought in the market. I would then go home and try to figure out what they were making. It took lots of time and patience, but I could get to where I could tell the recipe just from what they picked out. They were the people who made the king and queen happy with their hard work on the meals. I wanted to make people happy, too.” I giggle at myself.
“I heard you went to culinary classes while you were still in high school. Have you ever had time to enjoy being young?” Reggie asks.
“What do you mean? I enjoyed every second of school?” I’m confused by his question.
“I mean, did you go out and have fun with friends or boyfriends? Did you do something that wasn’t cooking?” Reggie asks in a serious tone.
I stop and think about what Reggie is saying. Did I do any of that? I’ve never dated because I found someone that interested me enough to pull me from cooking. Plus, when I stop and think about it, getting involved with someone other than your mate can often be a sticky situation that may not work out well in the end.
“No, not really. I don’t think I’m a prude or anything. It’s just that no one caught my attention. I haven’t been intentionally saving myself for my mate. It just ended up that way. I had friends, I guess, but no one that I would have considered that close to me. My dreams were my focus.” I say and smile at Reggie.
“And what were those dreams?” Reggie asks with mischief in his voice.
“To be a chef at the palace, of course.”